Nixie Clock QTC With Z5700M Tubes


After being very impressed with PV Electronics' Remote Tube kit, I had to get one of their QTC kits as well! I chose this one because I like the look of the Z5700 Nixies. They have proper 5's instead of upside down 2's. So do the slightly larger IN-8 tubes, but I already have a couple of clocks that use those.

I also ordered a clear plexiglass case for the kit. The aluminum cases look great, but the circuit board looks really good and I like being able to see it.

I have several other Nixie clocks. None of them have LED's to illuminate the tubes. I used to think that would somehow look out of place on a Nixie tube, but I was wrong. This is a very pretty clock. These clocks look great on the website and in YouTube videos and they look even better in person.

You can pick the color and intensity for the LED's and they can change color every hour if you want. I especially like the way the LED's light up the edges around the top panel on the plexiglass case.

The kit shipped the next day after I placed my order and arrived here on the west coast of Canada about nine days later.

The assembly went very smoothly and the clock worked the first time. It took one evening for the main board and the six little Nixie boards, and part of another evening to assemble the case. I have a lot of experience building electronic equipment, though, for myself and also professionally, and I have built several Nixie clocks in the past.

However if you are a more casual electronics hobbyist, the assembly manual is very detailed so building the kit should be no problem. I don't recommend it for beginners, though, unless you know how to use a multi-meter to help identify resistors and for the power supply checks. You should be pretty good with soldering, too. There are lots of closely spaced solder pads on the board so you need a fine-tipped soldering iron and some thin-gauge solder. I used .5mm lead/tin solder and a temperature controlled soldering station.

The firmware is well thought-out. It's easy to set the clock and program the various options for the LED illumination and how it displays the time and date. My clock is connected to a GPS time reference so it's always accurate. However I found that it's pretty accurate running on its own, too. Initially it lost about one second per day, but you can program an offset for this with a simple entry in the firmware set-up.

The circuit boards, electronic parts, case, assembly manual and customer service are all first rate. If you want a great Nixie clock, PV Electronics is the place to get it!
Date Added: 08/01/2017 by Mitchell M.